By studying the temperature dependence of the dark decay dynamics of the ultraviolet-light-induced absorption coefficient changes, we measured the thermal activation energy of the ultraviolet-light-induced absorption coefficeint change in damage-resistant lithium niobate crystals. The ultraviolet-light-induced absorption changes were ascribed to the generation of the small polarons O<sup>-</sup> under the illumination of UV lights. We show that the thermal activation energy of the O<sup>-</sup> centers is influenced by the surrounding nearby negatively charged defect centers.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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